An unexpectedly lovely afternoon.

I was really annoyed and cross with myself when I got home yesterday afternoon after a busy early shift,  to discover I had accidentally brought home keys that they’d need on the ward.  The last thing I wanted to do was turn round and go back to work.  So I talked Mark and Paddy into taking the dogs for a little stroll around Cheltenham afterwards.  What was originally intended to be a quick walk for the dogs turned into a lovely three or four hours, moseying around Cheltenham and being tourists in our local area.   We started out for a couple of geocaches…

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…and this was the first one we found. How beautiful is this fountain?  I never had any idea that it was here.   It was made in Italy but stolen by the French,  and somehow ended up in England.   There was a little plaque with all the info and history of the fountain but I’m a little ashamed to say that Paddy and I were more interested in signing the cache’s logbook!

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On to geocache number 2 – a statue of King William IV, made to commemorate his coronation.   This was in Montpellier Gardens,  one of many beautiful parks in and around Cheltenham.

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We were delighted to find an outdoor café so treated ourselves to cappuccinos for Mark and I…

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…and this chocolatey, creamy concoction for His Knibbs. Lovely.

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Cheltenham has very old and beautiful trees everywhere,  especially so in most of the parks.  Look at this – GORGEOUS!  And backed by blue skies too!

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This is another such beauty, although this has been fenced off due to a fungal infection.  Nice.

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The Queen’s Hotel.  This is an iconic building in Cheltenham.  VERY expensive and VERY exclusive.  And they do fab afternoon teas,  so I’m told.  I may have to indulge my new found passion for afternoon tea again very soon…

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Another geocache,  this time being guarded by Neptune himself!

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Another few caches dotted around the town centre then we walked past The Town Hall.  I love the Regency period buildings of Cheltenham. So elegant and pretty.

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This is Sandford Park, where I had my impromptu picnic at the start of the week.  It has a great play area but my favorite part is the rose garden…

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…Bertie and Maisy’s favourite part was the huge open spaces. ..

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…and these huge old tree trunks proved a highlight for Paddy.  I’ve got photos of him last year jumping off these with great abandon,  but this year he was reluctant to do the same!  Older and wiser, perhaps?

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There were still some impressive blooms about considering it’s now September.  I wish I’d thought to visit in July and August.  I must make a mental note to head there next year.  It’s right next door to work so there’s no excuse really.

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The smell was AMAZING.   All in all,  we had a lovely outdoor afternoon.   So much more rewarding than a Sunday afternoon spent snoozing on the sofa.  I loved walking around Cheltenham when there were so few people about.  Definitely an afternoon to repeat sometime soon.

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